Presented by Ringmasters Dollissa and Amandoll

Welcome!

The Sneer Carnival

Thrilling Rides:

House of Broken Mirrors and Dreams

Bouncy House of Cellulite and Shame

Mini Train Ride around Sneerland (Sassy Commentary included)

Swarm of Bees Ferris Wheel

 

Challenging Game Booths:

Chicken Ring Toss

Ball Throw & Daisy Bowl

Spin the Wheel of Insults

Test Your Inner Strength

 

Surprising Prizes:

Win a chicken! Press it to your mouth

Win a daisy! Press it to your mouth, too

Win a caricature! Hide it under your bed

 

Unique Performances:

Ventriloquist Demandoll with Dummy Canadian Chris

“No, YOU’re the dummy, and your dress is so 2001!”

Steven the Talking Horse

“I’m an anarchist.”

Smirk de Soleil: The Circus of Sneer

Sneer Clowns Leap, Tumble, and Swing Around the Big Top

Clown Music

Have you been enjoying National Clown Week? We sure hope so! Merry-making and comic mischief is hard work, but we have made a playlist to make things easier for you. Luckily for the world, I have been amassing a Circus Playlist on Spotify for the past four years and I have skimmed some of the circusiest tracks (plus one rendition of that classic song, my favorite song of all songs, “Brazil”) off the top to present to you. Yes, my personal playlist has almost 700 tracks, and yes, I do listen to it on any ordinary day.

Continue reading

Recently, I was speaking with my friend about books we enjoyed as children. She spoke well of a book she had read so many years ago that was about a mighty, wild stallion who was captured by humans. They tried to break his fierce spirit every way they knew how, but he endured and managed to live the rest of his days carefree on the range once again, a symbol of spiritual freedom.

I realized while I was listening to her that I had read a similar book, although not that specific one. Not only that, but I had read quite a few books with that general plot! There was one set in the Pioneer Times about a Moonstone Stallion who rescued some little prairie girl who had gotten herself lost from the wagon train. And another story I dimly recall about another white stallion who pranced around, inspiring these children while vexing the austere and practical adults. Of course Walter Farley wrote a whole horrible series of books about the Black Stallion and his Island Stallion counterpart, Flame. Those were just a few I had read as a small child. But obviously, there have been others, possibly a thousand others!

Horse Fiction

Equine literature aimed at children is a very strange genre of fiction. Mostly meant to entertain “horse crazy” little girls. Some of the books were about young girls just like the reader who enjoy being around horses and learning about them, riding, laughing with each other, and friendship. Or they were about wild horses that resist taming, display perfect carriage and conformation, and are far above the intelligence of wily and sinister men who cruelly break horses for a living. These stallions (almost always stallions) refuse to be broken by all! Well, except for the little girl, or occasionally little boy, who manages to tame the horse just by being kind or particularly helpless.

When I was eight years old, I didn’t think twice about the improbability of these plots. For those of you who do not know anything about horses beyond being able to identify one in a photo of various creatures, I will explain a little about how silly these books actually are. You see, the story generally revolves around a wild stallion. A stallion is a guy horse that has not been neutered, or “gelded” as it is called in equine glossaries. They are not really friendly animals, typically. Usually concerned with procreation, protecting a “herd” from other guy horses, and eating grass when he has the time, a stallion has no interest in a little human girl who has twisted her ankle while hiking alone. He certainly wouldn’t express any maternal tenderness.

Horse Reality

Also, wild horses are not beautiful and perfect awe-inspiring specimens. Their manes and tales are full of brambles, they have scars from horse bites and horse kicks, they are often scrawny looking, and their hooves are cracked from not wearing shoes on the hard rock surroundings. It is true that mustang horses that have been made into pets are often pretty, but they have been brushed and fed well. Not even those tamed mustangs are quite what the stories try to describe. Fictional horses have silky manes blowing in the wind, glowing coats kept sleek and groomed by rain I guess, are tall and imposing, perfect in every conceivable way, able to later win shows and races, if the plot decides to go in that direction.

The most outrageous part is how the same book has been written and published probably as many as sixteen times every year. Stupid little girls read this same story many, many times, not even realizing it until one grey afternoon twenty-five years later. I am shocked. I am even a little angry. I could write a story that trite, ridiculous, and horrible! I WILL write it! I know horse-related words! I can occasionally write in an engaging manner! By God, I am going to write the most ordinary story and it is going to be a HIT. And what’s better, I can actually illustrate it.

Readers, read on:

Continue reading

Note: This was written while Prudence was Emily Yoffe, a wonderful and amazing columnist. We love the others too, but we wanted you to know that this was for her.

Dear Prudence,

Where do I start? I am a longtime reader. I know that there was a Prudence before you, and while I do love advice columns in general, your answers are the ones I love. I can’t get enough of reading your column. You give advice the way it should be given.

I read through your column all day long at work. Don’t worry, I finish all my work too, but I read your answers in between answering customer questions. It’s fascinating and I often find myself 4 years back in the archives, looking for posts I haven’t read yet.

Continue reading

Yo Gabba Gabba is a very good show for the very small child crowd, but it could be better. I am not at all suggesting that DJ Lance Rock is in any way deficient or lacking in wonderful personality. But imagine for a moment that a children’s show was designed to influence children to be haughty and urbane. What if instead of being taught to eat nutritious snacks and share with each other, they were taught to mix cocktails and silently arch their brows just so to convey snide judgment? Beatboxing and breakdancing are great, but are they as useful to know as how to seduce with a glance from across the room or how to melodramatically sigh before taking a deep drag from a ridiculously long cigarette holder that is perched in an impeccably manicured hand?

Decide for yourself. I know you’ll come to the correct conclusion. As always, click to make it larger. (You can see another example of Greta in an imaginary children’s television show on our Futility Street post.)

Yo Garbo Garbo! by Amanda Wood

Long have we all heard the cry, “Never forget the Alamo!” Or is it, “Remember the Alamo”? One of these things has been echoing out of Texas for our lifetimes, and maybe some lifetimes before ours. But what is it really? What IS the Alamo? I know I could ask wikipedia, but I’m asking you, on this, the anniversary of The Battle of the Alamo! Pop quiz, kidlets.

Amandy Crockett

In the meantime, I’ll tell you what I know for sure.

The Alamo is in Texas, of course. It is a fortress. I’ve been told that it is smaller than you’d think. On March 6, one hundred and seventy-nine years ago, a bunch of American soldiers and living legends got killed by Mexican soldiers. I think the reason Texas considers it a victory is because the Americans held out for an astonishingly long time in the face of such strong adversity. But the Alamo should be remembered for far more important things than that.

Continue reading